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Antonio Tajani: Fostering industrial co-operation with the United States

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, together with European CEOs from all main industrial sectors, will visit the US from 10 to 12 May. As part of the new series of "Missions for Growth", the aim of the visit is to foster industrial cooperation with the US to help the European and American economies to foster growth and job creation.

The EU delegation consists of representatives of industrial sector associations and horizontal business associations incorporating each a large number of industry members (see list below).

The mission to the United States will pursue three main objectives:

  • Allow for concrete discussions with political leaders on EU-U.S. industrial cooperation to spur economic growth;

  • Support European companies, in particular SMEs, in developing business with the United States;

  • Ensure the contribution and support of the EU business community to recent EU-U.S. initiatives in favour of a transatlantic market supporting jobs and growth.

The visit will focus on high-level political meetings in Washington, with additional business-to-business contacts in New York City (for details, see below). Discussions will address ways to create a more favourable environment to support innovation, growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Vice-President Tajani is working intensively for the internationalisation of European enterprises. In this context, he intends to give a strong political signal of the importance the Commission attaches to industrial and economic relations between the EU and the US.

EU US Key trade data at a glance:

  • 10,9% of EU imports come from the US, and 17,0 % of EU exports go there.

  • The US buys 16,9 % of their total imports from the EU, and exports 19,2 %.

  • EU and US are mutually their biggest trading partners, with 13,8 % of total EU trade being done with the US (2011), and 17,8 % of total US trade being done with the EU (2010).

Improving industrial cooperation to the advantage of the EU and the US

With mutual investment stocks of €1.89 trillion, and trade in goods and services worth €700 billion annually, industrial cooperation between the U.S. and Europe is well established and much more developed than with any other country in the world. During his visit VP Tajani will underline the importance to increase regulatory convergence, in particular in new or unregulated areas as it is crucial to avoid divergences in regulations and standards which have detrimental effects on business and trade development. Regulatory cooperation is an important tool to helping dismantle existing regulatory barriers and prevent new ones from emerging. This activity is on-going and is carried out by the High Level Regulatory Cooperation Forum.

The Commission is aware of the efforts deployed by the US Administration to spur industrial growth and is very interested in exchanging information and experiences about these initiatives. The Commission also sees a common challenge to create favourable conditions for innovation, investment and exports by ensuring that the potential gains from doing business and exploring export markets are larger than the costs and risks. This is particularly true for small and medium-sized enterprises.

More specifically, the visit will aim to strengthen cooperation with the US in key areas of the VP’s portfolio, including SMEs, industrial innovation, tourism and space. For example, the development of tourism is a sector with huge potential for growth and employment on both sides of the Atlantic.

VP Tajani continued: "A more closely integrated transatlantic market place will decrease costs and create new opportunities for businesses and consumers. I look forward to our continued cooperation to create mutually appropriate conditions for growth and business development across the Atlantic."

Details of the Visit

Vice President Tajani will have talks with: Michael Froman, Deputy Assistant to the US President & Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, White House; Robert Hormats, Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs, US Department of State; and with Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, US Department of Commerce.

On Thursday Vice President Tajani will speak on the "Competitiveness of the EU-US manufacturing industry and transatlantic cooperation for sustainable growth" at a breakfast event organised by the European Institute in the context of the “Europe Week". He will also participate in a Roundtable with US companies hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) on Priorities for an integrated transatlantic market place – Regulatory convergence, trade and investment.

Industry representatives accompanying VP Tajani

Ms. Gunilla Almgren, President European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – UEAPME

Mr. Alessandro Barberis, President European Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry – Eurochambres

Mr. Jesús Serafín Pérez-Diaz, President Food Drink Europe

Mr. James Harton, CEO Rhodia, European Chemical Industry Council – CEFIC

Mr. Peter Voser, CEO Shell European Roundtable of Industrialists – ERT

Mr. Fabio Franchina, President, and Mr. Bertil Heerink, Director General
Cosmetics Europe

Mr. Karsten Langer, Chairman, and Ms. Dörte Höppner, Secretary General
European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association – EVCA

Mr. Alejandro Bataller, Board Member European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliances – ECCIA

Mr. Hansjuerg Mahler, President Association of European manufacturers and installers of fire and security systems – Euralarm

Mr. Adrian Harris, Director General European Engineering Industries Association – Orgalime

Mr. Marko Gospodjinacki, EREC Board member and ESHA President
European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and European Small Hydropower Association (ESHA)

Mr. Maciej Witucki, Vice President Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan

Mr. Jens Klaskov, CEO Danish Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Sergio Einaudi, Vice President, Tenaris

EU- US Economic and trade relations at a glance

The European Union and the United States have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world. The EU and the US economies account together for about half the entire world GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows.

For goods and services, we are mutually our biggest trading partners, with 14% of total EU trade being done with the US, and 18 % of total US trade being done with the EU. This amounts to a total annual trade of goods and services of €670 billion in 2010, or €1.8 billion per day.

This can also be illustrated with approximately 15 million jobs linked to the transatlantic economy. It is estimated that a third of the trade across the Atlantic actually consists of intra-company transfers.

The transatlantic relationship also defines the shape of the global economy as a whole as either the EU or the US is also the largest trade and investment partner for almost all other countries in the global economy.

The EU and the US enjoy the most integrated economic relationship in the world, illustrated by unrivalled levels of mutual investment stocks, reaching over €2.4 trillion. Total US investment in the EU is three times higher than in all of Asia and EU investment in the US is around eight times the amount of EU investment in India and China together. Investments are thus the real driver of the transatlantic relationship, contributing to growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.